The former UFC heavyweight champion will make his boxing debut on October 28th, 2023, against the WBC heavyweight champion of the world. The bout will provide both men with the highest paydays of their careers, as Ngannou’s chances of a win have been dismissed. However, in order to give the fighter the best chance of winning, Mike Tyson has been hired as a trainer and cornerman. With that being said, Atlas highlighted a few reasons as to why Ngannou could pose Fury problems.
The former trainer pinpointed how Ngannou’s best chances of winning would be to overpower Fury and seek a stoppage rather than go the distance. This is understandable since Ngannou is likely to gas out in a ten-round fight, having been used to fighting in five rounds under MMA rules.
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“(Ngannou) has the power to hurt anyone, including Fury who has an unbelievable chin, who’s been dropped by the biggest puncher in Wilder a few times, and he’s gotten up. So he’s got a great chin and a great constitution, a great heart does Fury. Just great, just great. You have to applaud him for that. But Ngannou has shown stout toughness also when he’s been tested, when he’s been on the floor and being threatened to be submitted and he hasn’t. That shows a resolve right there,” Atlas said
Outside of that, Atlas highlighted how Ngannou’s ability to soak in information could be key. And by having Mike Tyson in his corner, Ngannou will have someone who has made it to the top of the sport. After all, Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion who is well aware of what it is like to taste defeat against an underdog in the form of Buster Douglas. And since Atlas has had a training session with Ngannou, he did see the MMA fighter as being capable when it came to improvements.
“I’ve been in the ring with him. The tape is out there, it’s got millions of views. He had asked me to train him for one day, and I obliged. I was in Vegas, I went to his gym, and I trained him for one day. I saw firsthand, not only his power which anyone could see, but I saw his athleticism and I saw that he was smart. He picked up some things,” Atlas
Meanwhile, there is an argument that Fury could overlook Ngannou. In the first presser between the two fighters, much was said about Fury’s conditioning. The heavyweight looked a lot bigger than he had been used to, which led to suggestions that the fight may not be a priority, especially now that the Oleksandr Usyk bout for the undisputed championship has been confirmed. And given that Ngannou will provide an element of unpredictability, Fury could come unstuck.
“It comes down to how serious did Fury take this event, this moneymaker. How serious was he? We saw some early pictures where he didn’t look great. He never looks like an Adonis. His body is not made up that way. He never looks like Hercules, but you know when he’s in shape and when he’s not in good shape. He didn’t look in good shape.
“Did he take this seriously or in a way the 90 percent of the people are taking it? ‘I should dominate. I should have no problem with the guy.’ If taking for granted that Ngannou is just being fed to the lions, he can get caught. He can have a surprise,” Atlas
The result has all the more importance since Fury confirmed that there is no rematch clause in place. The fight edges closer as the two boxers will hold their final pre-fight presser today. The absence of a rematch clause, therefore, has increased the pressure on both fighters to perform, particularly Fury.
A defeat would damage the fight with Oleksandr Usyk from happening next, as Ngannou would hold the cards over a rematch. Meanwhile, it would go down potentially as the biggest shock in boxing of all time. And with so many hurdles that could crop up, Fury cannot afford to overlook his opponent. With that being said, Fury confirmed the absence of a rematch clause.
“As we stand today, there is no rematch clause either way. If he knocks me out cold on Saturday night, I’ll have to beg him, like please give me a rematch. I hate rematch clauses, rematch clauses have tied my career up so long, and cost me a lot of millions of dollars in court cases. I always say we don’t need a rematch (clause). If the first fight is good then both participants will surely want a rematch,” Fury stated
Despite this being the case, it does depend on whether the Fury-Ngannou fight delivers. If the spectacle goes down well, there is always a chance of a rematch happening. And if Ngannou can manage to inflict some damage on the WBC heavyweight champion, then the calls for the rematch will only increase.